Quilting with a Domestic

My sewing studio is small - 10' by 10'.  I can't accommodate a long arm machine (even if I could afford one). So I bought a Juki TL2010Q which has become my quilting machine.  I thought I'd show you how I manage to get my tops ready to quilt.

At soon to be in my mid 70s, I can't get onto the floor anymore to sandwich a top. I now use my kitchen table which is a good 46" by 64" size.  For small quilts I use a fabric cutting board.
I bought it at a yard sale for $1 a long time ago when I use to make clothing.  It's corrugated which is great as the pins nestle between the top and bottom so they don't scratch the table.  I first lay out the backing.  Then I pin it to the surface with the wrong side up.
I do one vertical side and one horizontal side (here it's the right and top sides).  For the other two sides, Starting at a corner, I grab the back and tug it toward me to make that part of the side taut, not tight, and place a pin into the backing and board.  I then do all that side and the remaining side.  This keeps my back from forming pleats when its quilted.

The next step is to place the batting evenly over the backing. Then I do the same with the top.  I check all around the top's edge to make sure there is backing under it.  Then I start pinning from the center out after I mark any stencils I'm going to use.

Here's the center pinned.
I try to place pins outside of where I will be quilting.  You can see that better in this marked stencil block.
I only have to remove the center pin to FMQ the shape.  I'm going to use a variegated thread for these four blocks.  I outlined around each of the figures in the five other blocks using black thread as they had a tiny black line around them.  Here's what my first one looked like on the back:
I chose to use black on both sides. I rather like it, as I've noticed when I've seen the back of some quilt show entries that they sometimes used different threads on the back to make for an interesting look.

Here it is all pinned.

Once it is all pinned I turn it over and glide my hand over the back to see if any pleats form near a pin. If so, I re-pin that one straight pin.  Once that's done, on to quilting.

What are you up to?  I'd love to see.  Leave me a comment and I'll come by to check it out.


  1. What a great idea Angie! My sewing room is 10 ft x 12 ft and it is my office space too (and like you I have no room for a long arm), but aren't we lucky to have a space at all and look what we can produce from it! I love your idea for basting....thankyou for sharing x

  2. Those corrugated cutting boards are so useful, aren't they? I think I'm on my second one of my sewing/quilting career. Now I mainly use mine for blocking small quilts.

  3. What an excellent tutorial Angie. I am blessed to have the use of the tables in our little shop/classroom that we still have from the big shop days. Our room is about 12 feet by 20 feet. I really miss my longa and have just been practicing using my ruler foot on my Janome 9450. Good fun.


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